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Mu Cang Chai – The land of the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/mu-cang-chai-beautiful-rice-terraces-vietnam

There are many famous destination for North Vietnam tours such as Sapa, Ha Giang, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, etc. However, if someone ask me where is the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam, I will say Mu Cang Chai. Mu Cang Chai is a district in Yen Bai province, located in the west, about 300km from Hanoi. The district is located beneath the famous Hoang Lien Son range, with the most famous beauty scene; making the brand of this place is the terraced fields of gold; spreading the smell of copper wind, radiating out all over the sky.


Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai – the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam

The following blog will guide you to the experience of Mu Cang Chai Vietnam in the most detailed way so that you can easily discover the beauty of this place.

Best time to visit Mu Cang Chai

Thanks to its pleasant and cool climate, you can visit Mu Cang Chai at any time of year. However, for wonderful pictures of stepped rice fields, between May and June and between the late September and early October are two periods of the year considered as the best time to visit Mu Cang Chai. This can be different each year depending on weather,  so be sure to check out first. While from May to September is also no less impressive as the rice fields are green, from the late September and early October is the time of ripe rice terraces. The weather at that time is nice and convenient to visit. 

For those reasons, I decided to visit Mu Cang Chai last September. It is when all mountains slope of terraced rice fields, changing their colors from green to golden in their fullest beauty. It is the best time for great photos of Mu Cang Chai’s breathtaking stepped rice fields. During this time, it is not too cold but you still need wear scarf, warm clothes along journey discovering the nature and people of Northwest.


Mu Cang Chai in September

Mu Cang Chai in September

This is also the time when the fields become full of life as Hmong farmers in their colorful attire harvest the ripe rice, get the grains in bags and shoulder them home through the valleys and mountains. It is quite often to see the children joining in their parent’s work. They are jumping here and there, cutting rices on the fields. Sometimes, you see ethnic mothers using a cloth as a cradle to carry their infants on their back while harvesting the rice.What a breathtaking photos of Mu Cang Chai rice terraces you will have, the color of rice and the farm work of locals.


An ethnic mother carries the infant on her back

An ethnic mother carries the infant on her back

How to get Mu Cang Chai from Hanoi

The mountain route particularly suits the young, who love free and adventure some travel by manual clutch motorbike. If you are travelling as middle aged people, you will need a car/minivan.  

If you want to get to Mu Cang Chai from Hanoi, there are 4 ways to consider:

  • You can go straight to Mu Cang Chai by motorcycle or car.
  • Catch the bus Hanoi – Lai Chau which goes through Mu Cang Chai; drop off at Mu Cang Chai; then rent the motorbike to visit around. It is so convenient that you can contact the hotel for the motorcycle rental.
  • There are not many bus go straight Mu Cang Chai, so you can catch the bus to Yen Bai city, then rent the motorbike from there to Mu Cang Chai.
  • Train from Hanoi to Yen Bai city and take bus to Mu Cang Chai town.


Amazing Mu Cang Chai

Amazing Mu Cang Chai


There are not many options for accommodation in Mu Cang Chai district. If you go there at peak times such as the cultural festival of terraced fields, it is almost difficult to book because the number of hotels/guesthouses are limited. The best place to stay is Mu Cang Chai Ecolodge with 9 rooms, included 5 doubles/twins rooms, 4 family rooms. You will  being surrounded by the pure of mountains, birds, butterfly, and the noncommercial of the local. In the hustle life, it would be the nicest time for you to hear the silent sounds in peace.

Otherwise, you can choose to stay overnight in the surrounding area such as Nghia Lo town, Mu Cang Chai town, Tu Le town.

Suggested Mu Cang Chai tour

A suitable time frame to experience the route is 3-4 days. However, this could be longer if you choose to get to villages high upon the mountains. The schedule includes 2 stages, each stage is allocated based on situations.

The route from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai stretches almost 350km following National Road No.32. Terraced fields spanning from Tu Le to Mu Cang Chai open fabulous view of majestic passes and captivating valleys. Not only the majestic and beautiful terraces, but you can also learn the unique and rustic life of H’mong ethnic group, a poor life but warm-hearted, a rare thing in the modern world.

You can stop at Tu Le for overnight. Then go to Cao Pha valley under Khau Pha pass. In the beautiful sunset, you can see the valleys from the pass or wander around the valleys and find out about ethnic people. Khau Pha pass is considered as one of the most beautiful passes of Vietnam. Going from Khau Pha to Mu Cang Chai, passing Kim cross, then turning right after about 5 km you will get to La Pa Tan for Mu Cang Chai at noon, you can enjoy enchanting terraced rice field valleys.


Khau Pha pass

Khau Pha pass – one of the most beautiful passes in Vietnam

After that, you can head to Che Cu Nha and Cau Ba Nha – the places of the best terraced field valleys in this area. It’s great to enjoy the view of majestic and picturesque scenery from a high position.

The area itself is completely untouched by tourism. Therefore, the accommodation options are basic; and you have to be adventurous with your food choice as you will be eating in local restaurants. This does however mean that you will have the rare opportunity to meet the indigenous ethnic minority groups in an area that most tourists never visit.


Mu Cang Chai

The sunset in Mu Cang Chai

Tips for trip to Mu Cang Chai

  • At this time in mountainous areas the seasons are transitioning so you should bring a coat and a warm blanket.
  • To avoid fog, do not drive your motorbike in the evening. Remember to bring all necessary papers and a motorbike repair kit with spare tube and type.
  • It is essential to bring a map and know your destinations well
  • Prepare personal items such as clothes, coat, gloves, helmet, sleeping bag, raincoat, rain boots, upholstery, personal medical supplies. When packing your backpack, arrange items in plastic bags to protect against rain and moisture.

Last but not least, if you are planning for Mu Cang Chai tour, you should contact Vietnam tour companies for the best arrangement. It is because you will surely need a lot of support for this mountainous trip. So, don’t hesitate to talk with us Indochina Voyages by simply leaving a message here >> https://www.indochinavoyages.com/contact-us, you will get all answers for your concerns immediately.

Hope you will enjoy the journey!


Nam Lucas – Travel specialist


#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours


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Vietnam currency in Vietnam tours 2019 – All you need to know https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/vietnam-currency-vietnam-tours

You are planning a vacation to Vietnam this year and wondering what is the wisest way to spend your money? There are a few things you should know in advance to know more about Vietnam currency as well as plan your budget for your unforgettable Vietnam tours 2019.


Vietnam currency

Vietnam currency – all you need to know

How much money should you bring to Vietnam

Most travelers book their Vietnam tours 2019 with Vietnam tour companies. Normally, a private travel package to Vietnam includes accommodation with daily buffet breakfast if you stay at Superior three-star hotels and above, excursions and lunches. You should book and pay your package months before departure to ensure availability of good services. For international wire transfer, the banking service charge is US$35 per transaction. Bank fee for using credit card is often three percents. Most companies allow you to pay a deposit at booking decision and the remaining balance can be settled on arrival by cash/credit card. If you plan to spend a big amount by credit card, you are highly recommended to contact your bank before your  departure date for Vietnam. Some banks refuse the payments and list them as suspicious transactions.

After having your trip organized by a reliable company, you will just need to pay for extra services, such as excluded meals, laundry, massage, tipping, shopping, etc. It is hard to give an advice for the exact amount as this is totally based on personal interests and finance. For example, some may happy to enjoy a simple dinner with Banh My at only US$1 while a luxury French fine dinning restaurant may cost up to hundreds of dollars.


banknote in Vietnam

500,000 is the biggest Vietnam currency note

What is the best currency to use in Vietnam

There is a very common question: what is the best currency to use in Vietnam? My answer is definitely local currency – Vietnam dong. The following choice is US dollar which is a widely accepted foreign currency. Also, Australia dollar, Euro and Pounds are ranked next on the  popular currencies list in Vietnam. If you bring cash, Vietnam exchange money can be done at major airports, gold shops or your hotels. For less than a thousand US dollars, you will not see a considerable difference between those places. By the way, it is easy to search for the standard exchange rate by State Bank. You can go to the website of Vietcombank for Vietnam Dong exchange rate news. Updated on 10th May 2019, USD to VND is 23,285.00.

While using Vietnam Dong, there are bank notes that looks very similar to each other, such as 20,000 and 500,000; so when you have these banknotes, check twice before spending them.


ATMs in Vietnam

ATMs can be found in the cities

How to exchange Vietnamese Dong to US Dollar

For those who often get confused about Vietnam currency to USD, withdrawing local currency from ATM machines works well. Thankfully, finding ATMs in Vietnam is simple. Upon your arrival at international airports Noi Bai, Da Nang and Tan Son Nhat, you are able to see more than one ATMs of different bank. Lucky for you as you are planning for your Vietnam tours 2019. Back to ten years ago, the story is much different. In big cities, you will not have to walk more than one kilometer to find a nearest ATMs and Visa and Credit cards are mostly accepted. Vietcombank is the state bank in Vietnam so it has the most ATM machines throughout Vietnam, from Northern to Central and Southern regions. If you prefer to use international banks, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and ANZ are other choices to think about.


Credit cards

Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and shopping centres

Anyone can be a millionaire in Vietnam, as long as you have 45 US dollars. There are a few articles saying that it is time for Vietnam to lop zeros off its currency which I agree with. Foreigners may bewildered while spending in Vietnam dong. In this case, paying by credit card is a safe option. You can use your card at hotels, big restaurants, shopping malls, on cruises, etc. Just make sure that you carefully check the amount that being charged.

Some notes for a stress free vacation

  • Use credit card where possible
  • Exchange cash to Vietnam Dong or withdraw Vietnam Dong from ATMs to spend at places that cards are not accepted
  • Avoid bringing too much cash by getting enough money for around 03 days for once
  • Make sure that you have enough Vietnam dong for your trip to remote areas
  • Vietnam has cotton banknotes and plastic polymer banknotes. Cotton banknotes are very small notes, including 100-200-500-1,000-2,000-5,000. Make sure that you will note tip your tour guide and driver these notes or they cannot buy an apple with them.


Cotton banknotes

Cotton banknotes are too small to tip services during your Vietnam tours 2019

Suggested Vietnam tours

  1. Vietnam itinerary 2 weekshttps://www.indochinavoyages.com/vietnam-tours/vietnam-cultural-highlights-14days
  2. North Vietnam tourshttps://www.indochinavoyages.com/vietnam-tours/tonkin-elegance-8-days
  3. Indochina tours to Southern Vietnam and Cambodia: https://www.indochinavoyages.com/vietnam-tours/southern-vietnam-cambodia-discovery-13-days

To enjoy the amazing Vietnam tours, budgeting your money is as important as planning your itinerary. Best exchange rate for Vietnamese Dong is a huge concern for many travelers. Still, when you actually enter the country, you will not find a huge gap between money exchange places, just make sure that you will not be confused by too many zeros.


Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

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Angkor Wat tour – By car, bike or Tuk Tuk? https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/angkor-wat-tour-by-car-bike-or-tuk-tuk

Angkor Wat tour is a must activity when you are visiting Siem Reap during Cambodia tours. The most common way to reach the temples is by vans with air conditioning. Yet, for active people – cycling to see the Angkor complex is a great idea. Besides, discovering Siem Reap on the local Tuk Tuk is the next choice.


Angkor Wat tour

Angkor Wat tour can be done by different means

How to get Angkor Wat from Siem Reap

By car, bike or Tuk Tuk?

The aspect to choose for way to do a Angkor Wat tour from Siem Reap is the distance between temples. For those who love cycling, a full day tour to see major temples in town by bike is highly recommended. Within a day, you can cycle between the most well-known temples of Angkor including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm. For early birds who don’t mind waking up at 04:30, sunrise at Angkor Wat temples is a different experience – just make sure that you have your phone fully charged as opportunities for photos are endless. For temples which are located far from the central town such as Banteay Srei, having a van will be most convenient.


Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei is a far away temple so you need to hire a van for this visit

The next point that will decide your vehicle is group size. Tuk Tuk is ideal for a group of 2 to 4 people, and if you are big ones,  2 would be most comfortable. For a bigger group, a van will be handy. Bikes can fit either small or big groups, yet make sure that all members are in a good physical condition to keep the speed of the whole group.

Angkor Wat tour price

Now, when it comes to Angkor Wat tour price. If money is a concern, it always is, I guess. Hiring a private van may be the most expensive choice. Yet, this is only right when you travel in a small group of 1 or 2. The car rental fee will not be a considerable cost if you can share with 3 people or more. Tuk tuk runs second in the race of pricing, while bike wins the crown in term of cost. Some hotels even offer free rental bikes for their in-house guests. If you choose cycling, you may need to pay and tip your tour guide a little higher as it will be a hard working day for him/her.


Tuk Tuk in Siem Reap

When in Siem Reap, go by Tuk Tuk

Best time to visit Angkor Wat

So there are at least three ways to choose your own vehicle and make the trip “your way”. The question is how to find out what way works best? Let’s look at the weather.

You may already hear that the whole country of Cambodia is hot almost all year round, and so is Siem Reap. The temperature will be defined based on rainfall levels. The dry season starts in early November and ends by late April. Since Siem Reap is located in the north of Cambodia, this place is often expected to be a little cooler.

Three best months to visit Siem Reap are December, January and February when the temperatures are lovely, the average is 25-degree Celsius. There’s the least rainfall in December and January. If you are traveling during this period, bike or Tuk Tuk are wonderful to do an Angkor Wat tour. Least rain forecasted in both December and January is another assurance. Everybody likes to travel when the weather is perfect, yet I bet you also prefer to avoid crowds and expensive services during peak season. For adventurous people who don’t mind seeing Siem Reap during its monsoon season, go from May to October. When traveling during the rainy season and hottest months, hiring a private van with air conditioning is definitely a better idea.


Cycling in Angkor Wat

Cycling is best during the cool season

Some tips for a hassle-free trip in Siem Reap

  • If you choose Tuk Tuk or bike, make sure that your water bottles are packed in your bags. Stay hydrated for outdoor activities will make sure that you will not have to lie on the hotel bed for the rest of the vacation.
  • Bargain if you hire a Tuk Tuk. You should discuss with the local driver directly or find a trustable Tuk Tuk rental firm. Giving them your itinerary and agree on the price will avoid any potential troubles at the end of the day
  • Your tour guide and driver may expect a tip from you. Below are the average amounts:
  1. US$3 – US$5 per person for your tour guide, if you travel in a group of fewer than 5 people; US$1 – US$3 per person per day is an appropriate amount if you travel in a larger group.
  2. If your whole group go by van or Tuk Tuk, you could tip the driver US$3 – US$6 per day.


Some suggestions for Angkor Wat tour

Here are some of the best Angkor Wat tours, let’s have a look then drop a line about what you are interested, Indochina Voyages travel experts will contact you immediately.

Last but not least, if you are planning Indochina tours and Cambodia is one of your destinations, you can experience all types of vehicles and find out your favorite means of transportation. Also, based on your travel time, your interests, your group size, your budget, you can choose the most suitable way to explore Angkor Wat.


Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

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Pha That Luang – a symbol of Buddhism and Laos sovereignty https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/useful-tips-travel-pha-luang

Pha That Luang, or “The Great Stupa”, is a must-see Laos attraction which locates in its capital, Vientiane. It is a sacred Buddhist monument in Vientiane which is well known as Laos most impressive religious architecture. The huge gold-covered Stupa is believed to enshrine a breast bone of the Buddha. The unique architecture, the impressive beauty and special meaning of Pha That Luang have helped this destination ranks in the top of Laos itinerary for travelers in Indochina travel.


Pha That Luang

A national symbol of The Land of a million elephants

Pha That Luang facts

A secret story behind The Great Stupa

Local legend tells that missionary monks of the Court of Emperor Ashoka from India arrived in the Vientiane in the 3rd century BC. As they traveled to Laos, they brought a sacred relic from the Buddha, which is believed as one of his breast bone. The monks erected a stupa to enshrine the bone. By the time, the ancient temple is no longer exist. However, it is believed that the spot where Pha That Luang was built on is the ruins of the ancient temple.

Nowadays, travelers can easily get to visit the special Phat That Luang, which is only about 4 km northeast of the city center, in Thanon That Luang. It was built in the year 1566, following the order of King Setthathirath, after he had made Vientiane the new capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom. Laotians honor his contributions by norming a statue of the king stands in front of the entrance to the stupa. At that time the temple was covered entirely in gold leaf.


The statue of King Setthathirath

The statue of King Setthathirath locates beside Pha That Luang

In fact, the Pha That Luang complex we are visiting today is not the original Pha That Luang. In 1827, the Siamese invaders came to the city of Vientiane, destroyed and looted the city. It then was heavily damaged and eventually left abandoned. Not until in the 1930s did it was rebuilt by the French to its original design. During the war of independence of Thailand against France in 1940, once more Pha That Luang was completely destroyed; and had to wait until the end of World War II to rebuild itself. It has been submitted to the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Gold covered Pha That Luang

The Pha That Luang that we are admiring today still has its majesty and scared appearance. The structures including a pinnacle in pyramidal shape which is 45 meters in height and width 69 meters. The main tower is surrounded by 30 other small stupas in turns. The whole complex is unique by its gorgeous golden walls. Significantly, the color of Pha That Luang is not from the paint, but real gold – the symbol of the splendor in Laos culture. Standing at 44 meters, the main tower of Pha That Luang is covered in real gold, with a set of painted turrets surrounding its central stupa. 500 kilos of gold leaf and other precious metal were used to achieve such impressive golden color of this religious attraction.


gold covered Pha That Luang

It’s real gold

Pha That Luang architecture

It includes three levels of walls. On top of the first level wall, there are various ‘sema’ stones which are used for marking the holy area and 30 stupas. At the center of each side of the wall, there is Haw Wai, which is a prayer gate. Arched gates lead to the third level that is 30 meters wide and contains the 45 meters high Stupa. The upper part of the stupa mirrors an elongated lotus bud topped with a multi-tiered parasol. To get to that place, visitors have to follow the stairs which are guarded by Naga snakes.

The pagoda is surrounded by golden colored cloister walls with little windows. On the inside of the cloister walls, there are galleries contain ancient Laos and Khmer artifacts like statues, many of them badly damaged, inscribed steles and other sculpting. Most of them need some restoration work. Among them is a statue of King Jayavarman VII of the Khmer empire.


Pha That Luang at night

Pha That Luang stands out at night with its gorgeous beauty

How to get Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang welcomes travelers to come daily from 8 a.m to 12 a.m in the morning and from 1 p.m until 4 p.m in the afternoon. The best time to visit the golden stupa is in the early morning when the weather is not really hot and it is not too crowded.

Travelers can easily get to the Pha That Luang by motorbike, bus, taxi or the interesting local tuk-tuk. The temple is so iconic and famous that it is really easy to book a vehicle to visit. In case you don’t want to do it yourself, any hotel, guest house or homestay will happy to help you. The typical price for a one-way tuk-tuk is about 60,000 kip (approx. US$6 or US$7). A tuk-tuk can carry 5-10 people, depending on its size.


The reclining Buddha Statue

The reclining Buddha Statue is housed nearby Pha That Luang

Visiting the Pha That Luang, you can access 2 parts such as the outer part and the interior of the stupa. Firstly, the outside is a combination of gardens, small temples (as known as Wat), monuments, statues, and a Palace. You can visit the outside of the site for free. It should be noted that the Palace Wat That Luang Neua in the complex has an impressive facade. Especially, the most striking is the small temples around Pha That Luang. Secondly, the inner is also interesting to visit. However, to visit the interior of the Golden stupa area, it is required to pay an entrance fee of 50,000 kips (approx. US$6). The price of admission is reasonable, so don’t forget to save some times to take a look.

Visiting Pha That Luang during the festival time 

As an iconic Buddhist temple in Laos, the Pha That Luang is responsible for many important religious events of the country, including the country’s most important Buddhist festival, the Boun That Luang. The festival is held during the full moon of the 12th lunar month, attracting thousands of people. The Pha That Luang festival lasts for three days as Buddhist ceremonies and celebrations to pay respect to the golden stupa and to give alms to hundreds of monks. The festival is interesting to see as it has activities including carnival rides, games for children, musical performances, parades of people wearing traditional costumes playing traditional music, candlelight procession, and fireworks.


Pha That Luang in November

Travelling to Pha That Luang in November is to discover the spiritual life of locals

Tips to remember when visiting Pha That Luang

  •         Take off your shoes before you enter Pha That Luang
  •         Dress appropriately in long sleeves, no short skirt, no flip-flop
  •         Do not speak loudly
  •         Do not buy any Buddhist relics because it’s illegal


Some more Vientian tour suggestions to visit the famous and sacred structure of Pha That Luang:

Let’s spend some great time getting around and contemplate one of the most famous attractions for your Laos tours, Pha That Luang. Its beauty is just breathtaking that can make you speechless while sitting in peace to enjoy the great scenes ahead.


Le Huu Dan – Travel Lover

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

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Vietnam family tour package 2019 – Top 4 exciting activities to experience https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/vietnam-family-tour-package-2019-top-4-activities

Traveling with your kids is always not an easy task and many people find it challenging to design a Vietnam family tour package. Your kids may get bored by a classic itinerary with so many museums, temples, pagodas, etc. I bet you wish you would find this blog sooner as with below suggestions, your work will be so much easier.

A trip of Halong Bay overnight cruise

A Vietnam family tour package 2019 will not be completed without an overnight cruise trip in Halong Bay. It is because such excursion offers many interesting activities that all family members will enjoy together. Most of the children are keen on exploring the beautiful outdoors. So you and your kids will have the chance to discover amazing caves with a Halong Bay overnight cruise. You will be surprised at how attentive your kids are when they are hearing how the cave was formed.



Discovering amazing caves in Halong Bay with your kids

Another fun part is kayaking. This activity is often voted as a highlight when your travel to Halong Bay that both the young and middle-aged people enjoy. If you are traveling in a big family with elderly, the boat often offer rowing boat ride as an alternative. When night falls, the family can just chat on the sundeck to enjoy the sky on the sea or try squid fishing. On the second morning, some boats offer a trip to a local floating fishing village and you may teach your kids how the pearl is naturally created.



Kayaking – a fun activity in most of Vietnam family tour packages

Zipline in Phong Nha

Another activity that can build up the great family holidays to Vietnam is zipline in Phong Nha Quang Binh. To reach Phong Nha from Hanoi, a short flight of 1 hour and 30 minutes is recommended. There is only 01 flight per day which is operated by Vietnam Airlines. If you like the idea of visiting Phong Nha, you better book a Vietnam tour package with airfare in advance, as soon as possible. For those who need to travel on a budget or in case, the flight is sold out, night train is the second choice. The train leaves from Hanoi in late evening and reaches Dong Hoi by next morning.

Top popular attractions in Phong Nha are Phong Nha Cave, Paradise Cave, and Dark Cave. Among those mentioned places, your kids will definitely choose Dark Cave where an adventure 400 meter double-zip line have been opened since 2014. Your family will have so much fun with the mud bath and swimming. Photo opportunities are great too!



Zipline to Dark Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang is a must for an adventure family package

Hoi An ancient town

Let’s come to Hoi An next. This ancient town is my favorite place of all time. There is a very interesting experience for family – Cooking Class. Red Bridge Cooking School is what you may find after countless research on Tripadvisor and this company will not let you down. The meeting point is at Hai Café in No. 98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. This place is located in the ancient town where cars are not allowed so you will have to find your own way there. If you are staying at nearby hotels, it is easy to just walk to the cafe. Else, all family members together bike there will be lovely too.



Biking in Hoi An ancient town

Joining this class, you will have a chance to visit a busy local market, talk, and bargain with some local sellers as well as learn about unique ingredients that are often used in Vietnamese dishes. Your family will also have time for a short cruise on Hoi An River for approximately 25 minutes to reach Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the local lives along the river. Attending 2 hours cooking class will bring your family a lot of beautiful memories. When back home, whenever missing Vietnam family holidays 2019, all members can prepare a Vietnamese meal together. It is such a nice gift to bring home! Updated price in November 2018, the seat in coach costs US$33 per person. Also, private class can be arranged upon request and with a surcharge.



Hoi An is the best place for a cooking class

Exploring Saigon at night on Motorbikes

My last stop is Saigon and the picked activity is exploring Saigon at night on Motorbikes. Such a tour often starts around 18:00 then you can combine it with your classic city tour/Cu Chi tunnels tour or even Mekong Delta day tour. The best thing about this activity is that you will be taken to interesting places that normally other tourists do not know. This is the final stop where all the remaining money should be spent.



Saigon vespa tour

Motorbike riders will bring you through China Town where you can do shopping at popular spots. After that, a light dinner with some unique local dishes will complete your night. This tour is safe and suitable for both elderly and children as. Your drivers are regularly trained and tested as safety is the 1st concern. If you have a small kid the he/she should with you. For children from 7 years old and above, he/she will need to ride with a local driver. The good news is the kids love this experience. Based on your travel interests and budget, you can choose Saigon Vespa tour or normal motorbikes which are cheaper. For me, I chose normal motorbikes as it is considerably cheaper I want to be a part of local life.



Exploring Saigon by night is best by motorbike

Last but not least, please have a look at a list of related Vietnam tours 2019 below for your reference:

Now, anyone can plan a great, memorable and meaningful Vietnam family tour package. Traveling with your kids or your elderly parent can be fun and worry-free if you know about the above activities.


Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

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Vietnam and Cambodia tours 2019 – Top list of things not to forget https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/vietnam-and-cambodia-tours-2019-things-not-forget

If you find packing for your Vietnam and Cambodia tours 2019 difficult, check out our Vietnam and Cambodia packing list about all the things you should bring along to these beautiful countries.



Explore Angkor Wat with Vietnam and Cambodia tours 2019

Vietnam and Cambodia visa

Before getting to any country, it is necessary that you will need your visa. Firstly, check your passport if it is valid for at least 6 months counting from your arrival date.

For both countries, there are 3 main ways to obtain it; which are via Embassy in your home town, E-Visa and visa on arrival. The first option as well as Vietnam E-visa and Cambodia E-visa have to be prepared in prior to your departure to our countries; and apart from the visa itself and your passport which is a must for your travel, you do not need to bring any other documents. Meanwhile, for visa on arrival, remember to bring the approval letter for visa on arrival to Vietnam, 02 passport-sized photos and cash for visa stamping fee.

Cambodia visa stamping fee is US$30 per person, Vietnam visa stamping fee is US$25 per person.



Vietnam visa

Vietnam and Cambodia packing list

The weather in Vietnam and Cambodia is quite the same, despite the fact that temperature in Cambodia is higher than Vietnam. So the packing list is expected to be just one.


Basically, you will need cash or some planned amount on your credit card for your vacation. Most of it will be for main meals, drinking water, sightseeing tickets, laundry, tips, taxi/transportation fee, etc.

  • Transportation

Once arriving at the airport, you will need a cab taking you to your hotel. This fee is from US$10-20 and will be less in some places such as Ho Chi Minh City where the airport is closed to the city center. For the other excursions, you can also use taxi; but there’re quite a lot of scam for tourist taxi in big cities and Grab – the most convenient and cost-saving for private car/taxi services using the base of internet. However this will only easily apply for ones who plan meticulously of all the spots they want to go, the fee can be from US$1.5 – 3/excursion

  • Food and drink

Street food is incredibly cheap like US$1-2 for a “banh mi”, US$2-2.5 for a bowl of Pho noodle or Bun Bo Hue or Hu Tieu, US$2.5-3 for a plate of chicken rice etc. A bottle of beer costs US$2 and for a dinning out with a set menu, the price is around US$10-15 per person.

  • Tipping

Tipping isn’t a norm while traveling, but expected in many countries especially in Vietnam and Cambodia while their tourism is developing. We have an useful guideline for tipping in Vietnam here, you might want to take a look: https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/tipping-in-vietnam



Vietnamese Dong

If you already book the package holidays to Vietnam and Cambodia from your home which most tours include lunches and the tickets for your touring days so that you do not have to bring much cash in your pocket. You can use US$ notes for restaurants, tipping or souvenirs but it is more cost-effective if you convert the majority of the cash in Vietnamese Dong and Cambodia Riel. You can easily do it at the airport in the arriving country.



Cambodian Riel

Medical Items

  • For the safe Vietnam and Cambodia holidays 2019, pack a first-aid kit with bandages, disinfectant, tweezers and an anti-diarrhea medicine, you can quickly treat cuts and scratches and stop them from getting infected. To avoid some problems occurred with foreign pharmacies like some medicines that are unavailable, poor in quality or unclear origin, make sure to bring prescripted medications in quantities large enough to use during your trip.
  • Sun cream to avoid the extreme heat and the long day time during summer in Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Insect repellent especially for the countryside area


Clothes made by cotton are highly recommended which will absorb much of your sweat; as Vietnam and Cambodia can be hot and humid all the time. For visiting temples and religious places, choose pants that cover your knees, long skirts or t-shirt with sleeves and modest neckline. Shoes, long pants and water-proof light jacket are suitable for rainy season.

You do not have to bring a lot of clothes when coming to Vietnam and Cambodia tours as things here are quite cheap and the laundry services are everywhere with fair price and good quality.



Eazy laundry and dry service in Cambodia

Other stuff

  • Water resist phone bag

There are a lot of interesting water activities throughout your Vietnam and Cambodia holidays; not only beach time or snorkeling, but also river boating in Ninh Binh, Quang Binh, Tonle Sap Lake, etc. So make sure to have a water-resist phone bag with you to protect your phone from downpours of rain and to have some good shot under water.

  • Flight tickets, hotel vouchers

You should keep them handy with theirs phone number and address in details; so that you will never get lost on the streets and always can find your way back to your hotel.

  • Sunglasses and hat

  • Travel money belt body wallet



Be cautious of petty thief

  • Extra memory card

You will take tons of pictures during Vietnam and Cambodia trip because the sceneries are all beautiful and not repetitive.

Together with a lot of things to prepare before the trip, looking for the best tour companies for Vietnam and Cambodia package tour is essential. I believe it will be much easier if you go with Indochina Voyages, including 2 typical types of Vietnam and Cambodia tours 2019 such as Vietnam & Cambodia Discovery 15 days and Southern Vietnam & Cambodia Discovery 13 days. Not only assist the travelers with reasonable itinerary that matches the guests’ interests but also as an expert in the area; we bring out the very helpful advice to save a lot of your time and budget. Let’s have a look then choose the one that suits you the most or simply send us an email, we will get back to you shortly. Happy traveling!


Daniel Nguyen – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Vietnamitinerary2weeks

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Thailand itinerary 1 week – 5 useful suggestions to design your trip https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/thailand-itinerary-1-week-5-useful-suggestions

The capital city of Bangkok and Chiang Mai are two main places that you should add on your Thailand itinerary 1 week. For history buffs, a visit to Ayutthaya or Kanchanaburi is lovely too. You are planning a trip to Thailand and wondering what to do in this country for a week. Below suggestions may help:


Most international flights fly in and out to/from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. Then this capital city is definitely the first place to check – out before you make your way further to the mountain or the islands. There are some main Bangkok attractions that you should not miss Wat Po, Grand Palace, Golden Mount Wat Saket. Enjoying a boat trip on Chao Phraya River see the local lives along the rivers at sunset is also an interesting activity.



Explore Bangkok after dark – the first stop for 7 days in Thailand

At night, there are many things to do in Bangkok. You can go for a dinner with Thai traditional dance show or book a nice dinner cruise on Chao Praya river to see the city when the sun goes down and the lights lit. For those who keen on martial arts, Muay Thai Live is a good show to spend your night. Show starts from 19:00 to 22:30 and it is not available on Monday.

Day trip from Bangkok

If you are interested in history, an Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok is a very nice idea. Ayutthaya is well known as the former Royal Capital – Thailand tours from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is classic, yet it can be done in a very unique way. Experiencing local train is always a fun activity and a great opportunity for local learning. From your hotel in Bangkok, take a ride to the railway station then jump on a local train and head to the north. You will have a chance to see Bang Pa In, also called as summer palace which was formerly used by the ancient kings of Thailand.



What to do in Thailand for a week? Make sure you spend a full day for Ayutthaya

The next adventure is taking a boat trip in Ayutthaya, like we travel back in time, as the world merchants did. It worth to hire an expert tour guide for your day trip so you can know interesting stories about Portuguese, Japanese and Dutch traders who stayed and did business there. The last attraction on this trip is exploring old temples and ruins in the central area.

Floating Markets in Thailand

Searching where to go for 7 days in Thailand itinerary, you will surely encounter some articles/blogs mentioning floating markets in Thailand. The most famous place is Damnoen Saduak floating market. This well-known floating market can be combined with the River Kwai-area to make another full day of experiences. The special way to see the market is by a long-tailed boat, rowing through narrow canals and orchards.



Damnoen Saduak – the most well-known floating market near Bangkok

There is only one special warning – make sure that your cameras are fully charged as photo opportunities will be endless. I enjoy watching the Thai old ladies chatting and laughing on their small little wooden boats and the way they use their long sticks to hand your changes over to you. After spending a half day at the market, you will also have a chance to see Kanchanaburi, pay a visit to the Thai-Burma railway museum and then show your respect during a short stop at the World War II Cemetery.

Chiang Mai

Thailand itinerary 7 days will not be completed without Chiang Mai. From Bangkok, you will take a short flight to Chiang Mai Thailand for 1 hour and 20 minutes by Bangkok Airways. This is just a short flight so cheap airlines also work pretty well if you want to save costs. There are many nice temples in Chiang Mai. Yet if you are not a big fan of temples, Doi Suthep is the only place that you should cover. For family vacations, the kids love elephants to make sure that you plan a full day for them to take care of these adorable creatures. Best places for elephant caring are Elephant Nature Park, Patara Elephant Farm, Eco Elephant Care.



Elephant Caring Day – a joyful day to experience with your kids

Joining this activity, you will have a day without stress, just live with nature with a lot of fun. Preparing good for the baby elephants, taking them to the waterfalls and bath for them. This is also a good experience for your children to teach them how to treat animals with respect and love.

Is one week in Thailand enough?

7 days in Thailand is very tight to enjoy the beach. It would be great if you are able to extend your vacation, at least three extra nights for beach relaxation. From Chiang Mai, there are direct flights to Phuket and Koh Samui – best islands to visit in Thailand. Phuket may be more touristy and crowded by backpackers so if your budget allows, go for Koh Samui. Another option for beach, if you have more than three nights is Krabi and Phi Phi Island, you will take a flight to Krabi, stay the first night in Railay Beach then take a speed boat/local ferry to Phi Phi Island on the next day.



Koh Samui is one of the best islands to visit in thailand

Planning a Thailand itinerary 1 week may be an overwhelming task as there are so many appealing places. Unless you have more than a week for this country, Bangkok and Chiang Mai – two main attractions of Classic Thailand 7 days tour – will be the best options for first comers.


Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Vietnamitinerary2weeks

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